Milk Thistle Acne

Updated Sep,2020
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Milk thistle contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This makes it a useful supplement for individuals with acne. Studies have found that people who took just 210 milligrams of milk thistle every day for 8 weeks noticed a drastic reduction in their acne lesions.

What is milk thistle?

Milk thistle comes from the milk thistle plant. This is a prickly plant noteworthy for its white veins and purple flowers. The active ingredients make for a useful herbal remedy. It contains a high amount of silymarin, which has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. According to old stories, the white veins came from the Virgin Mary's milk dropping onto the leaves, leading to the host of nicknames this plant goes by, including:

  • Blessed milk thistle
  • Mary thistle
  • Saint Mary's thistle

3 health benefits of milk thistle

There are many reasons why a doctor may recommend milk thistle. Various bodily conditions can be greatly aided with this advantageous plant.

1. Supports Your Liver

More research is necessary, by medical professionals believe milk thistle helps limit damage to the liver from free radicals. This is a substance made by the liver when it metabolizes toxic materials.

Studies have also found that it helps improve liver function in those with various liver diseases by limiting damage and inflammation. It's also been found to protect the liver when exposed to toxins, such as amatoxin.

2. Can Help With Type 2 Diabetes

You should also talk to your doctor about using milk thistle as complementary therapy for type 2 diabetes. It helps decrease blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, similarly to what you get with certain diabetic medications.

Studies have found that people who regularly took silymarin saw a drastic reduction in their fasting blood sugar levels. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the plant also help limit the risk of diabetic complications, such as kidney disease.

3. Boosts Milk Production In Lactating Women

Some mothers who just gave birth may experience problems producing sufficient amounts of milk. Milk thistle has been found to create more of the milk-producing hormone known as prolactin. While more research is necessary, one study found that women who took 420 milligrams of silymarin for over two months saw 64 percent more milk than those using a placebo.

A study has suggested it also may help acne

Such anti-inflammatory properties can also help people with acne. One study seemed to draw such a correlation. In the study, participants took 210 milligrams of silymarin daily for 8 weeks. They saw a 53 percent reduction in acne lesions. More research is necessary to prove a definitive link, but it does appear like it could be a useful supplement to help prevent acne scars.

Are there any risks or side effects to using milk thistle?

Milk thistle may not be recommended for people with ragweed allergies. It can result in a serious allergic reaction as well as rashes. Other potential side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating

What other supplements are good for acne?

Milk thistle is just one component of a beneficial skincare routine. Other nutrients can also help limit your symptoms of acne.


Various studies have found taking zinc supplements can aid with acne. It plays a vital role in maintaining overall skin health.


Probiotics are typically associated with digestive health. However, studies have found they can also help limit skin inflammation and reduce acne symptoms.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce inflammation and redness around any acne areas. You can get vitamin D naturally by eating more fatty fish, egg yolks, and cheese.

Fish Oils

You want to eat plenty of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have found it helps reduce acne severity in some individuals. Supplements are also available if you don't regularly eat fish.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract attacks free radicals. These can make your skin oilier than it needs to be. Fortunately, this extract prevents excessive sebum on the skin, which exacerbates bacterial growth and clogs pores.

Here's the best ways to treat your acne

While acne breakouts and pimples are inevitable at some point in your life, it's not something you have to live with forever. There's a wide range of treatment options that have shown to combat those pesky red bumps for good.

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Typically a main ingredient in many acne facial cleansers and lotions, benzoyl peroxide goes into your pores to lift and remove excess oil, dirt and debris (acne-causing agents).
  • Glycolic Acid: An alpha-hydroxy acid, this ingredient exfoliates dead skin cells and removes surface impurities. This stops your pores from clogging; preventing future breakouts.
  • Retinoids: Arguably the most effective acne treatment, retinoids expertly diminish sebum (excess oil), dirt, bacteria, and any other acne-causing agents on your skin's surface to prevent future breakouts. This powerful drug has also been proven to stop acne scars from forming, leaving behind only smooth, radiant skin.

Treat your acne fast! Get a prescription retinoid, today!

We understand how annoying and bothersome acne breakouts can be. Whether it's picture day at school, or you've got a job interview, acne is not a welcome friend. Fortunately, it's a treatable condition. Our licensed physicians make it easy and more comfortable to have a discussion about your skin and the best treatment options available for you.

Talk to one of our reputable online physicians to get your prescription Retinoid, today!

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